Farmers’ Market Follies

by Paul Modic

I went over to the council of elders under their canopy at the farmers' market and asked if they wanted to play another game. They are the organizers and fund-raisers of the public toilet, installed at the corner of the Town Square, and a month before I came by with my sheet of 250 vignettes, asked anyone to choose one, and I would tell them the story, by heart, which I did a couple times.

The new game was, I wanted someone to name a year out of the last fifty and I would tell them who I had sex with that year and something about the experience. Lenny named a year and I told the story.

I had a detractor. “Well, I can just start talking about all the pickles I ever ate,” he said.

“Hey,” I objected, “we’re talking about MY pickle here!”

“Why are you doing this?” he said.

“Oh, I just like to do things no one else is doing,” I said. He seemed to agree with that. (A week later when someone told me that he was still scorning my personal history game I realized what his problem was: He was so clueless he didn’t even realize he was jealous or envious because he was boring and I was somewhat interesting.)

A woman under the canopy, a regular who I had given a story to a week before, said she likes my writing but questions my subject matter.

“You’re on my list,” I said. I thumbed down through the decades. “Here it is. Remember when we randomly met in town and went down to the river to have sex? It was 1988 and halfway there you reached over and pulled me down the trail by my dick.” She didn’t remember. “I had seen you in that play wearing that sexy form-fitting costume and that’s why I was attracted to you,” I said. She started to remember being in the play at the Redwood Playhouse.

I found a few more victims to play my game, had a couple more conversations, got a to-go meal from the barbecue boys, and took it home for lunch. (The next week the woman apologized to me for not remembering that one night stand. “It doesn’t matter,” I said. “I’m pretty forgettable.”)


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